Friday, September 02, 2005

The Best of America

Too many of the stories on Katrina have focused on the worst aspects of humanity. While there are villains a plenty, there are also many heroes. Rescue workers, National Guardsman, & ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Here are the links to their stories. If you have a story you'd like to add to this post, please add your link to the Haloscan comment section.

Katrina Relief with Efficiency, Love and Hope

Houston Opens Two More Refugee Centers

Update:
A Soldier's Perspective with photos of National Guardsman doing great things. Via Mudville.

Baldilocks with an example of how real men behave: they find soultions & protect the weak.
Jabbar Gibson, 20, said police in New Orleans told him and others to take the school bus and try to get out of the flooded city.
Gibson drove the bus from the flooded Crescent City, picking up stranded people, some of them infants, along the way. Some of those on board had been in the Superdome, among those who were supposed to be evacuated to Houston on more than 400 buses Wednesday and today. They couldn't wait.
The group of mostly teenagers and young adults pooled what little money they had to buy diapers for the babies and fuel for the bus.

Homefront Hugs USA offering comfort to the youngest victims. Information of how to participate in the effort.
The children from Hurricane Katrina need a smile and a hug ! If you want to help - here's what we can do....the children need a smile and a bit of comfort yesterday but we will start today.We plan to deliver it to them in the shelters here in Pensacola and to the Red Cross in Alabama and Mississippi to distribute...Via Mudville

Rep Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee voulnteers in Mississippi with her family.
For the past two days my family and I have been in Mississippi volunteering alongside the Red Cross and other aid organizations offering assistance to those affected by Hurricane Katrina. No words can capture the sense of loss shared by so many. The scale of this disaster is overwhelming... Via Lance in Iraq

Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott contacted President Clinton and the WhiteHouse and committed $15 million from Wal-Mart to jump-start the effort.
As part of this commitment, Wal-Mart will establish mini-Wal-Mart storesin areas impacted by the hurricane. Items such as clothing, diapers, babywipes, food, formula, toothbrushes, bedding and water will be given out freeof charge to those with a demonstrated need.
Wal-Mart previously donated $2 million in cash to aid emergency reliefefforts and has been collecting contributions at its 3,800 stores and CLUBS,and through its web sites [www.walmartfacts.com, http://www.walmart.com/http://www.walmartfoundation.org,/ http://www.walmartstores.com/ http://www.samsclub.com]... Via the Conservative UWA guy

Lowe's will increase to $2 million from $1 million its commitment to matchcustomer donations made to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Lowe'sactivated its in-store customer donation program on Monday to benefit the RedCross at all of its more than 1,125 locations nationwide...

Darelen Rutladge opens up her three bed room apartment to 30 evacuees...

Cat House Chat donating five dollars for every comment. Via Ogre's Politics

Ordinary People Go Beyond The Call
"They said … they needed boats," he tells Smith. That's all Josh needed to hear to haul his boat 2½ hours to the waters in downtown New Orleans. "(I've) come to save lives," he says. It took just a few minutes for Josh to accomplish his mission, and hoist a wheelchair-confined grandmother from a flooded hotel to safety. Moments later, he did the same for her infant granddaughter. Her family had defied evacuation orders so they could stay by the grandmother's side. Via Combs Spouts Off. Via Stop the ACLU.

A profile of Fred Vogel a Red Cross volunteer.

Jill Lopez, her daughter Allie Ordonez, 14, her two elementary school-aged sons and her mother Joan Lopez are opening their home to longtime family friends from Waveland, Miss., about 60 miles outside of New Orleans, who lost everything in the aftermath of the hurricane...
Support from the community has also been trickling in, Lopez said. Greenville Elementary School has offered free counseling to Elizabeth and Hanna, and twin beds for both the girls have been donated, as well as some clothing items...

Terry Hatchitt is among 150 volunteers mobilizing from the Red Cross' Great Lakes Service Region - which includes Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio - to help with disaster assessment, shelter operations, family services and support. One of seven such specially-trained volunteers from the Clark County Chapter, Hatchitt is no stranger to disaster relief...

Hoosiers ready to help hurricane victims Seventy REMC linemen from across Indiana gathered in Hamburg on Wednesday to begin a two-week mission in parts unknown....
"We're going to be dealing with alligators, cottonmouths, rattle snakes, mosquitoes and irate customers," said mission coordinator Terry Adkins of the Indiana Statewide Association of Rural Electric Cooperatives. "This isn't going to be a picnic."...

New Washington students assisting Katrina victims
...This desire to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina is behind a contest at New Washington High/Middle School....
Progress will be tracked on a poster, designed by freshman Cheldon Mott, in the school's main hallway and when the school reaches the goal of $1000 a party will take place.
"Additionally, the 4 Corners Mini Mart and New Washington State Bank in New Washington have agreed to place collection buckets in their business so that the New Washington community can help the school reach its goal," Wright said.

Utility Workers Come From Afar to Help Their Brethren Start Restoring Service
Convoys of utility trucks and reinforcement workers from as far away as Massachusetts and Ohio are arriving in the gulf states to help restore electricity to the estimated 1.6 million household and business customers still without power in the wake of Hurricane Katrina....
"You volunteer to go with the understanding that it's at least two weeks," Steve Daquila, the leader of the ConEd unit, said by cellphone yesterday on the way to Birmingham, Ala...

Resources on the effort in Houston.

Common people doing heroic things
...Their homes under water and destroyed, rescue workers had to put their own losses out of their minds as they plowed through filthy water saving people’s lives. Men dangled from helicopters and dodged power-lines and tree limbs to pluck people of off rooftops...

Web sites help loved ones find each other.

Phin's Blog auctions blog designs. Via Basil, Point Five

The military's efforts to help the victims of Katrina as well as reliefe information for members of the military & their families. Via Mudville

Americans Open Homes to Katrina Refugees
...Across the nation, people like Rainey are offering up their homes as temporary shelters to the storm's refugees. On the Web site craigslist.org, hundreds of people — some from as far as Oregon and New Hampshire — are eagerly offering free or extremely cheap room and board for victims, even knowing those strangers may stay for months...

Creative Solutions For Temporary Housing The International Council Of Shopping Centers (ICSC) has put out an email to its members appealing for shopping center owners with vacant space to contact the Department of Homeland Security. Empty big box stores, like old Wal-Marts, are proposed to be used to house gulf coast refugees. This is the creativity of American business at its best. The utilization of this vacant space for our fellow Americans will be a critical support pillar in the ongoing effort to cope with the damage of Katrina. Via Froggy Ruminations.

Update II: 300 troops with kin in Katrina zone sent home
Three hundred Air Force members in Iraq and Afghanistan and elsewhere abroad will return to their Mississippi Air Force base "so they can attend to their families' needs after Hurricane Katrina," according to an Air Force command statement...

TEXT
STORIES OF SURVIVAL
By
Michelle Malkin

TheRTO Trainer is going to join the relief efforts. Wish him well.

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And What Did Clinton Do?

The EU Rota fisks Sidney Blumenthal's Speigel article on Katrina.

Hat Tip: Chrenkoff

Update: The Right Nation has posted an interesting article from TCS on global warming & Katrina.

Update II: Via James S. Robbins of the NRO. [In the Army,] there are 1,012,000 soldiers on active duty, in the Reserves, or in the National Guard. Of them, 261,000 are deployed overseas in 120 countries. Iraq accounts for 103,000 soldiers, or 10.2 percent of the Army....
If you add in Afghanistan (15,000) and the support troops in Kuwait (10,000) you still only have 12.6 percent....
So where are the rest? 751,000 (74.2 percent) are in the U.S. About half are active duty, and half Guard and Reserve...
The DOD response is well ahead of the 1992 Hurricane Andrew timetable. Back then, the support request took nine days to crawl through the bureaucracy. The reaction this time was less than three days officially, and DOD had been pre-staging assets in anticipation of the aid request from the moment Katrina hit.....

And here's the kicker: A year ago after Hurricane Charley, the president was accused of responding too quickly, allegedly to curry favor with Florida voters.

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Academia & Ground Zero NYC

Candace de Russy has a must read article at the NRO on the International Freedom Center. She wonders how Gov. Pataki's request that the center administration arrive at a plan which would:
"guarantee" that its cultural and educational programming will neither disparage America nor offend the victims' families

Particularly:
[s]ince primary responsibility for these programs has already been handed over to the higher-education establishment, it is doubtful that the IFC guarantee will be honored. Academics cannot even guarantee a fair treatment of contentious issues on their own campuses, so why suppose that they can protect the integrity of debate in other institutions?

As a recent study, "Politics and Professional Advancement Among College Faculty" by Stanley Rothman (emeritus professor of government at Smith College), S. Robert Lichter (professor of communication at George Mason University) and Neil Nevitte (professor of political science at the University of Toronto) shows:
When professors are asked about their political outlook, they call themselves liberal about four times more often than the general public. In some departments (English literature most of all, followed by philosophy, political science, and religious studies) over 80 percent of the faculty calls itself liberal and under 5 percent calls itself conservative. This disparity has prompted "a substantial shift to the left" since the mid-1980s, and is still increasing.

They also uncover solid evidence of active discrimination against those who hold conservative views:
...even when professional accomplishments are equal, a more liberal outlook predicts "a significantly higher quality of institutional affiliation." They even assign a number to this liberal edge: "The ideological orientations of professors are about one-fifth as important as their professional achievements in determining the quality of the school" they work for. This means, Robert Lichter told an interviewer, "Republicans get worse jobs than Democrats." Conservative complaints about "liberal homogeneity in academia deserve to be taken seriously," the authors conclude. They also state that their findings "suggest strongly that a leftward shift has occurred on college campuses in recent years, to the extent that political conservatives have become an endangered species in some departments."

Indeed, such behavior raises the disturbing possibility that the higher education establishment might not be worthy of the trust placed upon them.

Update: The treatment of some Iraq War vets on campus. My apologies to all our service men & women.

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